Deer on the move: Most dangerous areas for vehicle crashes

Posted at 5:40 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 11:17:42-04

It is officially deer crash season. The state’s approximately two million deer are on the move for mating season and all too often cars are slamming into them. 

Action News is taking a look at the data to find out where you need to be most careful. 

Taking a look at the numbers, last year in metro Detroit there were 5,578 deer crashes. Two of those crashes cost people their lives. The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, or SEMCOG, kept track of all of them. 

“It’s a big job,” said Kevin Vettraino from SEMCOG.

He met with 7 Action News to show us the data they collected, which revealed some of the most dangerous spots for deer crashes county by county. 

“In this case you have the I-275 corridor showing quite a few,” Vettraino said when he looked at crashes in Wayne County. 

If you take a look at the SEMCOG map of deer crashes in Macomb County, where we saw 604 crashes last year, you will see Van Dyke is a road that deer often cross following water sources while searching for food. 

Taking a look at Livingston County, last year there were 739 crashes. One of the most high risk areas for deer crashes is at I-96 and US-23, where multiple highways meet in an area near natural space. 

“You have multiple roads coming in. You still have a deer population that is active in that area and crashes are occurring,” Vettraino said. 

Washtenaw County saw 962 crashes. The high speeds and sometimes dark stretches of highway make  most of US-23 a danger zone. 

Oakland County is where you are most likely to crash into a deer. 

SEMCOG’s data shows two major danger zones. One is at the I-96, I-275 and M-5 interchange on the border of Novi and Farmington Hills. The other is most of the roads in the city of Rochester Hills, especially the area of Avon and Livernois. 

These are just some of the most dangerous areas, but deer are a problem for drivers in many areas of metro Detroit. SEMCOG says the purpose of its data is to help municipalities and the public make decisions that improve safety.